In March 2014, Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula. Now, questioning the legitimacy of Russian control can land you five years in jail. Still, it's no accident that Russian elections will coincide with the anniversary of the annexation.
The Russian foreign minister claimed that Ukraine was planning an "armed provocation" in the coming weeks. Moscow-Kyiv relations have continued to deteriorate after Russia seized three Ukrainian ships at sea.
The Russian president has called the incident a calculated provocation designed to help Poroshenko win re-election. US Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker told DW he doesn't see how it can be regarded as such.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has pledged not to extend martial law unless there is a large-scale Russian attack in the coming days. Poroshenko has yet to confirm that he will run for president in March.
The chancellor told her Russian counterpart that measures needed to be taken to ensure "smooth passage" through the Kerch Strait. But stopping conflict in the Sea of Azov wasn't the only thing the two leaders discussed.
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